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Useful Stats: VC continued to be about big bets in 2019

January 23, 2020
By: Jason Rittenberg

PitchBook and NVCA’s Venture Monitor for 2019 largely depicts continued trends from 2018: $100 million-plus investments, $2 million-plus average for angel and seed deals, and more than 10,000 investments of more than $100 billion. In a few cases, 2019 data suggests average deal sizes may have peaked in 2018, but more time is needed to clarify the trend. At the state level, California’s lead in VC deals continues to be eaten away by the next 10-15 most active states, while those in the bottom two-thirds of the country by deal volume continue to show limited growth.

Before presenting the data, be advised that PitchBook continues to identify additional deals and update their metrics. The 2018 report identified 8,948 deals investing $130.9 billion. The 2019 report now states that VC activity in 2018 included 10,542 deals investing $140.2 billion. This new information has historically been biased toward smaller deals — added deals had an average size of $5.8 million against the $14.6 million average reported in the 2018 report. This means deal and dollar volumes are likely to increase, particularly for first financings and angel and seed deals, while average sizes are likely to decrease.

Key figures for the VC investment in 2019:

  • 10,777 deals (+235 from 2018) investing $136.5 billion (-$3.7 billion);
  • $12.7 million (-$600,000) average deal size;
  • 4,556 angel and seed deals (+15) investing $9.1 billion (-$0.1 billion), for a $2.0 million (no change) average deal size
  • 237 deals of at least $100 million (+25), including 155 deals (+26) investing $42.6 billion (-$4.4 billion) into unicorns alone;
  • 36 percent of deals (-3 percent) are in the software sector;
  • 23 percent of deals (+1 percent) invested in teams with at least one female founder, including 7 percent (+1 percent) to all-female founder teams;
  • 882 exits (-133), the fewest since 2012, with a total value of $256.4 billion (+$126.2 billion); and,
  • 259 funds closed (-40) on $46.3 billion (-11.7 billion).

At the state level, the 2019 data suggests that deal activity is slightly less concentrated than in recent years. California’s share of deals is at 34 percent, down from 36 percent in recent years and from 42 percent in 2006. In raw numbers, the current data shows 124 fewer deals in California in 2019 than in 2018. The state saw its share of investment dollars decline from 60 percent in 2018 to 47 percent in 2019.

The states that are picking up California’s activity appear to be those that were already in the top 10 — particularly Colorado (+73 deals) and Washington (+58 deals). The following chart depicts deal activity by different groupings of states based on their 2019 deal volume.

The following chart shows deal activity for all states, and the attached data table includes deal count, amount, average size, and share from 2006-2019.

venture capital, useful statsFile UsefulStats_VCdata_20200123.xlsx